Varna Court Leaves 2 Bulgarian 'Killers' behind Bars

Crime | October 5, 2010, Tuesday // 15:46|  views

The President of the Bulgarian Sumo Federation, Petar Stoyanov aka the Chieftain, stays behind bars on charges of being the ringleader of a group dealing with murder for hire and arson. Photo by BGNES

The Court of Appeals in the Black Sea City of Varna, ruled Tuesday to leave the President of the Bulgarian Sumo Federation, Petar Stoyanov aka the Chieftain, under arrest.

The rule reaffirms the September 24 decision of the lower instance - the Shumen District Court.

The session took about an hour and a half and was held in Stoyanov's absence.

The defense council explained their client was very ill; an ambulance has been called to the jail 28 times in the last 12 days, and asked for new expert exams to show the ailments are severe.

The prosecutor confirmed the ambulance information, but added Stoyanov's condition did not require hospital care.

The magistrates based their decision on the grounds charges against the Chieftain are very serious and there is a danger he might attempt to hide or commit another crime if released.

The sumo wrestler faces charges for, allegedly, plotting and taking part in the murders of Shumen businessman Rumen Rachev, the Veliko Tarnovo lawyer Petar Lupov, and Sofia businessman Borislav Georgiev, a close associate of energy tycoon Hristo Kovachki. In Sofia, Stoyanov is under investigation for the murder of football club president Yuriy Galev. His additional charge is for organizing and leading a crime group dealing with murder for hire and arson.

Stoyanov was arrested in Sofia on July 23, during a special police operation, codenamed "The Killers." He was released on August 3 by the Appellate Court and rearrested on September 21, on new charges – Rachev's murder.

Petar Atmadzhov, arrested during the "Killers" operation, and charged as accessory to the murders of Rachev and Lupov, and for taking part in an organized crime group, also appealed his detention before the Varna Court of Appeals and was denied bail with the same motives as Stoyanov.

If proven guilty, the two face sentences of 15 to 20 years behind bars to life and life without parole.

The Tuesday rule is final and cannot be appealed.

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Tags: Petar Stoyanov, Chieftain, The Killers, Court of Appeals, Varna, Shumen, Rumen Rachev, Yuriy Galev, Sofia City Court, Petar Atmadzhov


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